Splinter Cell Interview: On AI, Systemic Gameplay, Old Engines, New Horizons and Keeping Sam in the Shadows
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 01:10pm 05/08/13 | 3 Comments
Since then, however, Ubisoft has stealthily let the game proper do most of the talking and, while action is a part of what's coming, the Sam we know and love is the core of the game: dark, ominous and deadly. We caught up with Blacklists's animation director Kristjan Zadziuk who spoke openly about AI, stealth, the series' rich history, systemic gameplay, using the original Splinter Cell engine, next-gen and much, much more.
Click here for our full video interview feature.
Post by Dan @ 01:02pm 05/08/13 | 4 Comments
Wolfenstein: The New Order promises a more contemporary chapter on the tale of BJ Blazkowicz and the nazis of World War II, bringing the battle ahead into an alternate reality 1960s where history's favourite villains control the Earth. The game is being built on id Software's id Tech 5 engine, last seen in the visually-impressive Rage. Check out the new screens below.
Post by Dan @ 11:18am 05/08/13 | 1 Comments
A developer blog over at ubi.com chronicles an assortment of tweets made by Lead Writer Darby McDevitt, as well as a few screenshots from the game's present-day levels, reiterating that the games primary character will be "you", as an employee of media conglomerate Absergo Entertainment.
McDevitt refrains from spoiling anything about the fate of Desmond Miles, the character controlled by players in the first several games, but does suggest that we will be learning at least some new things about what happened after the events at the end of Assassin's Creed 3. Here are a few of the more revealing Q&A's
@matman_1990 what country or location will the present day be set in & which characters will be in the present day?Hit the thumbs below for a closer look at the in-game stills.
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is due on October 31st 2013 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii U, with PC to follow in November, and PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions also in production.
Post by Dan @ 09:40am 05/08/13 | 4 Comments
The Evil Within is being developed by Japanese studio Tango Gameworks, helmed by Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami. By way of Gematsu, we have six new stills, and what appears to be off-screen camera footage of a new gameplay demo, courtesty of AllGamesBeta. Check out both below.
The Evil Within is due on PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One in 2014.
Post by Eorl @ 11:56am 03/08/13 | 5 Comments
VP, Public Relations and Marketing head Pete Hines took to the stage to open the gameplay presentation, assuring players that Elder Scrolls Online is a game that lets you "play the way you want to play, by yourself or with friends." Hines revealed that the game offers a variety of flexibility, including the option to pick up any weapon you want without class restriction and use that to your benefit.
To help walk players through the live gameplay demo, Creative Director Paul Sage headed onto the stage and assured viewers straight off the bat that the often despised third person view is viable option for those who want a more traditional MMO experience. Interestingly Sage also revealed that there would be no armour restrictions for the game, a common approach seen in the previous single-player Elder Scrolls games.
Character creation was also given a brief overlook, showing a somewhat in-depth range of choices players will be given when making their fabled hero. Players can choose one of the nine races, each one offering different racial benefits to the game. The game still contains a class system, however Sage was very eager to point out that you didn't have to conform to that archetype.
The demo progressed onto showcasing the fast-travel system which involves teleporting to previously visited waypoint call “wayshrines”. One of the developers playing the game casted a simple teleport spell to initiate the fast-travel, though it is unclear whether this can be used in combat.
Once the more fluff side of the MMO was out of the way, combat and exploration pretty much took over the demo presentation, with a look at the UI, levelling up, how you interact with the environment and of course a four player dungeon.
Sage closed the livestream by announcing that The Elder Scrolls Online will be available to all sometime in Autumn 2014, though did encourage those who hadn't already to sign up for beta. Make sure you check out the archived demo over on their official Twitch, where you will have to skip to the 42 minute mark unless you want to watch the CGI trailer on repeat.
Post by Eorl @ 06:03am 03/08/13 | 29 Comments
As with their previous EverQuest titles, the two next-gen MMOs will both be free-to-play, however EverQuest Next won't be coming out for some time. Landmark on the other hand is expected to be available at the end of the year with an alpha sometime in the very near future.
Of course it isn't just the voxel-based engine that both MMOs utilise that is interesting. EverQuest Next and Landmark will offer no levels, and will allow players to mix and match classes through their weapons. Players will also find persistent AI that "remembers" what you have done, ensuring the world always remembers just what you did to that farmer's livestock. Enemies can also utilise the destructible environments, punching through the surface to creating a void that enemies and characters can fall down into a new sub-surface environment.
A press embargo on a fresh round of previews for both upcoming MMO's has lifted, bringing with it a bunch of hands on impressions from a multitude of international outlets, based on what appear to have been quite extensive gameplay sessions. Here's a few snips:
Hit the screenshots and videos below to see just what EverQuest Next and Landmark have in store for the MMO genre. Those wanting to try their luck can also signup for beta over here.
Post by Eorl @ 01:08am 03/08/13 | 3 Comments
VideoGamer.com has proccured an interesting gameplay trailer showcasing what looks to be very early pre-alpha footage of the game in action. Previously only a single screenshot had been available for eager eyes to pour over, but finally seeing the next-gen game in action is an entirely different story.
According to VideoGamer.com, a "trusted source" was cited for the footage, which offers a first look at the lead character, combat, gunplay and city of the open-world action title.
Development on Whore of the Orient began when Team Bondi became embroiled in controversy after the launch and success of LA Noire and a developer exodus due to alleged poor working conditions. Aussie studio and film production house KMM moved to salvage the brand and remnants of the team.
Rumours began surfacing late April suggesting that the development team were no longer working on Whores of the Orient, however this somewhat suggests that they are, giving hope back to fans looking forward to the title.
Whore of the Orient is a detective thriller based in 1936 which is apparently set to use the Depth Analysis mechanic that LA Noire used to allow for high-quality acting visuals. The footage definitely shows similarity between the titles, but obviously this is very pre-alpha footage. Check it out here.
Post by Dan @ 03:22pm 02/08/13 | 18 Comments
Here's the full statement from the game's publisher Deep Silver, and local distributor AIE:
“Deep Silver and AIE are pleased to report that the Australian Classification Board has now approved Saints Row IV for sale. They have granted the game an MA15+ rating. To achieve this rating one loyalty mission featuring the character Shaundi has been removed. This mission has been widely reported on and contains the use of alien narcotics to obtain certain superpowers.Saints Row IV will now launch on scheduled in Australia on August 22nd 2013 for PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.
Post by Eorl @ 01:51pm 02/08/13 | 2 Comments
Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard, said, “We are pleased with our second-quarter results, which confirm the preliminary results we released last week when we announced our transaction with Vivendi. The agreement we reached with Vivendi will make us an independent company and should deliver meaningful earnings per share accretion to our shareholders. Our solid performance across our franchises and strong digital sales, including continued significant growth this quarter in our Call of Duty downloadable content business over the previous year, validate our belief that we will enter this new period of independence in a position to leverage the flexibility and focus that it provides.”Activision has attributed the high profits to their Skylander Giants franchise, which has reportedly earned $1.5 billion in worldwide retail sales since its inception. Again Blizzard revealed that the World of Warcraft subscriber numbers had dropped to 7.7 million, down from previous reports of 8.3 million players, though Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime stressed that the decline in Q2 was smaller than in Q1.
During the conference call Morhaime also revealed more information on several of their games, including the underwraps MMO codenamed Titan. According to the call the MMO is "unlikely to be a subscription-based MMORPG" but Morhaime didn't specify anything beyond that, other than to say that Blizzard is upholding its "commitment to quality" and has shifted some resources off Titan and on to other projects as recently reported. The executive attributed this downturn to consumer uncertainty regarding next-generation platforms.
Blizzard itself revealed that their revenue has slipped in the past quarter, taking a 65 percent fall from $634 million during last year's June quarter to just $224 million this year. Operating income from Blizzard has also seen a decline, with just $60 million this quarter, a precipitous 84 percent decline from the $371 million for the same quarter in 2012.
It wasn't just Blizzard who posted some trouble, with Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg stating (via GameSpot) that pre-orders for Call of Duty: Ghosts, the next title in the Call of Duty series, was seeing a lower number compared to Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 which sold more than 7.5 million copies on launch day.
"However, our quantitative consumer research indicates that hesitation amongst past [Call of Duty] preorderers is primarily due to not knowing which platform they will be playing on, which is natural at this time in the console transition," Hirshberg said.The news wasn't all that bad though, with Hirshberg revealing that Destiny, Bungie's newest title outside of their recent Halo franchise, is set to become Activision next billion dollar franchise, alongside Call of Duty and Skylanders. According to the conference call Hirshberg believes that Destiny is on queue to set the all-time record for most pre-orders for a new franchise for both Activision and across the industry.
Call of Duty: Ghosts will release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC on November 5. Call of Duty: Ghosts will also release on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 later this year. Destiny is in development for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. No release date has yet been announced.
For more on the financial reporting, you can check out their official website.
Post by Eorl @ 12:44pm 02/08/13 | 0 Comments
SOE Live is a celebration of ALL SOE games and gamers alike. Attendees can meet developers, party with friends, compete for prizes and get the inside scoop on SOE games!To find out more on what to expect from SOE Live 2013, check out the official website for the schedule alongside the Twitch livestream where the event has kicked off with an introduction to Sony Online Entertainment's catalogue including PlanetSide 2 and the EverQuest series.
Post by Eorl @ 11:18am 02/08/13 | 4 Comments
According to the note from Rogers, Square Enix is working on a number of next generation projects, "including Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III, which were announced at this year’s E3, and Thief coming in 2014." The note also very briefly touched on the fact that a next-generation Tomb Raider sequel is well into development, and something that we presume will be revealed sooner rather than later.
Square Enix launched the newest Tomb Raider title in the franchise earlier this year to great success, with AusGamers rewarding it a 9 out of 10 in our review. Obviously with such a resounding success in a rebooted franchise, it is somewhat of a no brainer that Square Enix would be looking at continuing that success through to next-gen consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
First and foremost, we are a games company and today we devote most of our time and effort into developing new and rich gameplay experiences, worlds and characters. At the same time new business models have risen up, which we periodically will try to explore. I know this can be frustrating for some long-time fans of our games, particularly if it seems that we’re heading in unfamiliar directions without much in the way of explanation. Explaining our approach to these opportunities is something we’re working to improve on. That said, we need to experiment and adapt or it’s likely we won’t always be in a position to keep investing in the ways we need, to build-out our games and offer excellence to you, our gamers.As well as the very stern push that Square Enix aren't abandoning the next-generation market, Rogers also revealed that their senior teams in Americas and Europe are working on various platforms, including "cutting-edge tablet and mobile games (such as the recently released Deus Ex: The Fall), to live and online PC games (our now in beta Heroes & Generals)."
For those who may want to raise their concerns or questions, Rogers has welcomed feedback through his email address, though he can't promise he'll respond to every question. For the full letter you can find it over here which is a great read for those wanting to know how Square Enix plans on bringing its developers into the next generation of gaming.
Post by Dan @ 10:49am 02/08/13 | 0 Comments
The game was originally announced as a PlayStation 4 title, however as VG247 points out, the official website URL conspicuously features the letters PC, and it has reportedly been confirmed that it will be an online RPG. The new teaser is mostly ominous sounds, but there's a few flashes of some scary looking beasties in there too.
Another tech demo from Capcom's Panta Rhei engine has also surfaced, showing off some rather nice fire effects.
Post by Eorl @ 10:38am 02/08/13 | 0 Comments
n Watch_Dogs, players will experience the realities of living in our fully connected society, where individuals and corporations are at risk of exposure by our ever-increasing reliance on networks and technology.Watch Dogs will be available November 21 on PC, Wii U, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It is expected to be available on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One around the time of their console launch.
Post by Dan @ 10:03am 02/08/13 | 13 Comments
In this episode we examine the rare Dude in Distress role reversal and then take a look at the use of "ironic sexism" in retro inspired indie and mobile games. We conclude with an investigation of some titles that attempt to subvert or deconstruct the traditional damsel narrative.Previous episodes can be found here and here. The next topic of discussion is expected to be the "Fighting F#@k Toy" trope.
Post by Eorl @ 09:51am 02/08/13 | 12 Comments
As has become tradition, the first day of QuakeCon will feature a keynote address from the legendary John Carmack, id Software’s co-founder and technical director.As per last year, the event will be livestreamed through two channels, with the Bethesda Twitch stream designated to keynotes and presentations and the QuakeCon channel for all the current tournament games. To begin the event co-founder of id Software and technical director John Carmack is currently giving out his usual brain-exploding keynote which you can catch here.
For the full presentation details including time slots for scheduled events, check out this blog post.
To continue the QuakeCon news, Bethesda and id Software have announced that several themed sales are currently undergoing on various networks, including Steam for PC, the iOS store and the Bethesda store. Various titles and discounts can be found in the respective stores, including titles like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Doom 3: BFG Edition and Fallout: New Vegas. Find more over here.
Post by Dan @ 09:39am 02/08/13 | 0 Comments
Polygon has a little more insight:
"Working on next-gen and current gen definitely has an impact, you're developing for two different things," Hines said. "The fact that the next-gen stuff is still moving is also definitely a factor. But the most important thing was definitely just looking where it was at, what they needed to polish. Because it's just not trying to be a shooter, because it's trying to be a shooter that also has driving elements, story elements, narrative, stealth sections — each one of those has to be excellent. It's not just like we're making a shooter, where if the shooting is good, then all 16 hours of the game will be good because it's all we're doing.Wolfenstein: The New Order is still expected to get some stage time at this weekend's QuakeCon event in Dallas, so we'll likely still see something new from the game soon, which is still in the works for PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4.
Post by Eorl @ 09:31am 02/08/13 | 10 Comments
right this minute, Bethesda has revealed a new collection that is sure to excite those wanting the majority of Elder Scrolls titles in one box.
Titled the Elder Scrolls Anthology, the new collection will contain the five main games from the series – Arena, Daggerfall, Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim – as well all the official add-ons and expansions for Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim.
Of course it isn't just the games that you will be receiving, with the inclusion of five physical maps detailing the lands of Tamriel, Iliac Bay, Morrowind, Cyrodiil and Skyrim, which are sure to get the map fans excited.
In case you weren't paying attention since 1994 you can find a full summary of each title included in the pack and their appropriate DLC at the official blog post, and you'll find the Anthology pack available only for PC at a price of $79.99.
Post by Eorl @ 03:23pm 01/08/13 | 12 Comments
Sadly Blizzard hasn't exactly said what this special announcement could be, but did hint that it is "sure to capture the attention of the Heavens, Burning Hells and all the shadowed places that lie between." This could simply mean more information on the upcoming console versions of Diablo 3, but who knows what we may see.
Sadly Blizzard won't be livestreaming this conference, but AusGamers will be on the scene to make sure the announcement is heard loud and clear in Australia. Let us know what you think it could be in the comments below.
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 03:18pm 01/08/13 | 5 Comments
Mad Max videogame. Our drive to have an Australian accent for the titular character has been doing the rounds ever since E3, and while we helped champion unsuccessfully for Mel's brother Donal Gibson to throw his voice-talent behind Max (despite being born in the US, much like Mel), it's looking like the franchise's Aussie roots aren't being nearly as forgotten as we thought they may have been.
Aussie comic book scribe and friend of the site, Tom Taylor (The Deep, Injustice: Gods Among Us), revealed today via Facebook that he's been brought on board to help flesh out the backstory to Avalanche's Mad Max interpretation, giving us a link to a motion comic published by DC with art by Jason Shawn Alexander. (He also uses the word "petrol" and not "gas").
Check it out embedded below. Mad Max is scheduled to release in 2014 on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4 and PC.
Post by Eorl @ 03:14pm 01/08/13 | 0 Comments
“We recently reviewed the VIP Pass activation system and took the decision not to include it in either F1 2013 and F1 2013: Classic Edition,” said Codemasters to MCV (via Games.On.Net).
“Players will not be required to activate multiplayer functionality via a VIP Pass code and we have no plans to replace the pass with an alternative paid-for activation system in the game when it launches this October.”
With Electronic Arts recently dropping their online pass requirements from new titles, hopefully this means that the once not-so-loved system has now met its way with the Dodo.
F1 2013 will be available for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on October 4th.